THE HOT CORNER
Let's put Tide status in context:
It's never good when your best player is injured, but it will be beneficial for the Alabama men's basketball team.
Point guard Ronald Steele has been battling tendinitis in his left knee and his play has suffered because of it. And as a team, Alabama has really struggled lately - even with its win over Ole Miss on Wednesday.
Let's face it, the Tide (20-9) doesn't look like it can win the SEC Tournament and get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It will likely need an at-large bid to get to the Big Dance.
So how are Ronald Steele's injury and the team's recent problems good things for Alabama's NCAA postseason future?
Because the NCAA Tournament selection committee knows the Crimson Tide's recent slide is directly related to Ronald Steele's health. The committee also knows that if Ronald Steele is healthy, then Alabama has a pretty good basketball team.
A 20-win season - with Ronald Steele able to go - will be good enough for the Tide to get an at-large bid. It has gotten into the tournament with fewer wins before.
Getting into the NCAA Tournament won't be the problem. Getting out of the first round will be.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Wade Belak, on his tattoos and how they will look as he grows older: "Yeah, I'll be 60 or 70, all wrinkled and hangin' out at the old folks' home. But I'll look tough, and I'll be getting all the women."
Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay, on the most important trait a batting-practice pitcher can have: "Giving me enough time in between pitches so I don't feel rushed. That's key, so if I hit one really far, we can all watch it."
Analyst sorry for sexist remark
Boston Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell apologized on the air Wednesday night for saying that a female referee should "go back to the kitchen" after he disagreed with one of her calls.
Maxwell made the comment during the Celtics' 77-72 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday. He subsequently said "Go in there and make me some bacon and eggs, would you?" in reference to referee Violet Palmer.
"If I said anything that might have been insensitive or sexist in any way, then I apologize because she worked extremely hard to get where she is now, end of quote," Maxwell said before the Celtics' game against the New York Knicks on WEEI-AM, which is owned by Entercom Communications.
"This really has been a fire storm," he added later.
Maxwell's co-announcer, Sean Grande, followed the apology by saying their show would not change.